Gandino, Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta
Gandino had a different fate with respect to the other mountain villages of the Val Seriana because due to its manufacturing activities and its long tradition of being an independent municipality, it played an important role in the economy of the entire area, even when it went from being independent to under the seigniory of Venice (from 1427 to 1797). In fact, beginning in the 15th century it was the seat of the Vicar of the Valley and in the 18th century it became the head Township of the Veneto Municipalities. This great economic development explains the artistic heritage of this city that still today significant testimonies of its past.
The Basilica of Our Lady of Assumption was built in the 17th century, an extremely positive economic and cultural growth period for the town, on a primitive medieval nucleus, by illustrious local architects. It dominates the residential area of the town and this together with its black local calcareous stone ("grespu'") facing and its impressive bell tower, draws attention to the spectacular characteristics of the Baroque.
The visitor is attracted to the façade by its rich portal with two late medieval statues at its sides.
The inside of the Basilica, as the outside, constitutes an example of Baroque architecture; with a sole nave and ten lateral altars it presents a series of refined decorative fixtures and elements. Here there are four confessionals by G.B. Caniana and A. Fantoni; the sculptured wood organ case again by A. Fantoni; the 14 bronze stations of the Way of the Cross created by the sculptor from Alba and the wood intaglio choir, in part created by the Fantoni school.
There are also numerous paintings on canvas and other works of art by valuable local artists from the Baroque period whose fame however never left the Bergamo territory.
The modern baptistery can also be visited inside the Basilica and it is interesting for its stone baptismal font from the 16th century.
The museum of the Basilica can be reached by walking over a small bridge crossing Via Loverini and here the visitor can admire sacred items and some prestigious works of art such as the wood panels with macabre scenes from the 18th century.